Cambridge student embarks on UK Entrepreneurship Development Scheme

Published: 17 October 2006 at 12:01

House of Lords reception for Anglia Ruskin University star.

Anglia Ruskin University student and budding entrepreneur Chris Mitchell, last week attended a reception hosted by leading businessman, Chief Executive and founder of Cobra Beer – Lord Karan Bilimoria at the House of Lords. The event kick-started a scholarship programme designed by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (a leading US centre that works to advance entrepreneurship) for just 18 individuals who have been selected from the best of England and Northern Ireland’s engineering, scientific and technology degree and post doctorate students.

This new NCGE-Kauffman Entrepreneurship Fellows Scheme, launched by the Government in this year’s Budget, will see the best of England and Northern Ireland’s future entrepreneurial talent spend six months in the United States as part of the programme to enable them to develop high impact business ideas, commercial awareness and business contacts through both practical and educational learning and interaction with leading scholars and thinkers, policy leaders, innovative researchers, and business founders.   

In order to prepare the Fellows for their participation in the scheme, the NCGE held a two day induction in Westminster from 11th-12th October. Chris and his mentor Tim Reynolds also from Anglia Ruskin University worked together with the NCGE and the Kauffman Foundation to devise a tailored programme for Chris to develop his entrepreneurial business skills during his time in the States, which will be spent at The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a US start-up business, and a university.

Over the two day preparation event the Fellows worked on their individual business concepts, which range from addressing environmental and health issues to designing new luxury technology goods and a new application for mobile phones. Hoping to take advantage of the rapidly expanding market for music online, Chris Mitchell, a PhD research student in the Design and Technology Department of Anglia Ruskin University, is developing a music information server for which he already has a prototype.  His server will allow music to be sorted by similar sound and genre.

Commenting on his participation in the Fellows scheme Chris said:

“After attending the induction event I am more determined than ever to make my business concept a success. It has been an exciting process to mature my business idea and look at how it would operate in the UK and US markets and the differences between the two. It has also been a great opportunity to meet the other Fellows and entrepreneurs from a range of sectors and learn from their experiences and exchange ideas, in particular meeting Lord Karan Bilimoria at the House of Lords.”

Ian Robertson, Chief Executive of the NCGE commenting on the Fellows induction said:

“Over this event the Fellows have demonstrated that they have the tenacity and drive to succeed, as well as the commitment to take their business ideas to the next level. Through developing their business ideas the Fellows have begun to see the challenges and obstacles they will face over the next few months and how to overcome them. I was also impressed with the Fellows perception of the differences between the US and UK markets as well as their enthusiasm to take advantage of all the opportunities ahead of them in the States, in a country where Entrepreneurship is held in such high regard.”